I just watched a video on a phenomenon called the pygmalion effect. It basically means that people are likely to meet the expectations others set for them. For example, if for some reason as a coach, you expect one of your players to be good at sports, you will compliment them and give them more attention, which will make them love playing sports and perform better. That way they reinforce your beliefs about them and the cycle continues.
On the other hand, if you expect them to be bad at sports, maybe because of a mistake they made or a preconceived notion you have about them, then you will criticize them more and compliment them less. This will make them feel less motivated to play, enjoy playing less and will then perform poorly.
In order words, if you set low expectations for people, act in a way that makes it obvious that you have such low expectations of them (like not motivating them, always criticizing, not complimenting, not giving them tasks), they will likely meet those expectations. This is not some psychological BS. It is true. I have seen it happen so many times with others and with me.
I can think of three implications;
Firstly, Parents and teachers need to take note. When you expect kids to fail and treat them like failures, they just might become failures. You need to set high expectations for kids. Do not have low expectations for any of your kids. Motivate them to be the best at what they do. Know their strengths and encourage them. They will try hard to be the best because you have set a positive environment for them to thrive, which will motivate them. Yes, you can point out flaws, but not to in a condescending or insulting manner, but a corrective and loving manner.
Secondly, Always try to motivate and encourage people around you whether as a family member, a spouse, a friend or a colleague. Its important. Humans are social beings and the people they surround themselves with have an impact in their lives. Let them know you know they can. It just might make a difference.
Finally, we all need to try to break the power of pygmalion effect. Its wonderful when we thrive because we are in a positive environment, but that might not always be the case. We may find ourselves in an environment where nobody believes in us, nor cares. Or maybe they do, but they don’t show it well enough. Then, we may just fail. Its important that we learn to stop seeking validation from others. We should be our strongest motivation. We should have high expectations for ourselves and work towards achieving it for ourselves. And that can only be possible with self love.
In conclusion, we should learn to love ourselves to kill the need for external validation, and always try to motivate those around us.